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Choosing a Halloween Costume That Reduces the Risk of Pedestrian Accidents

Nine in 10 parents say their kids will participate in Halloween activities, according to Safe Kids. For 73 percent of children, this means going trick-or-treating.  While trick-or-treating should be fun, it can also be risky for children because there is a rise in the number of kids who get hit by cars on Halloween night. 

The costume a child wears can have some impact on the risk of Halloween pedestrian accidents, so parents should make certain they make rules on costume safety and should consider trying to steer their kids to the safest options. Of course, no matter what kids wear, irresponsible drivers can still cause accidents. Motorists are often to blame for Halloween accidents and should be held accountable if they harm pedestrians.

Pedestrian accidents can happen if drivers don't see kids in time. If kids are wearing dark clothing, there is a greater chance a driver won't see them. Parents may want to steer kids towards a costume that will be brighter, rather than towards black or dark colored costumes.

This year, Fortune lists the most popular costume for children as a super hero, which means there is the chance for kids and parents to pick bright colored clothing.  However, other popular costumes like Batman or a witch are also on the list of the 10 most popular costumes, and these options would make kids harder for drivers to see. Motorists should be aware kids are wearing dark colored costumes and should be extra careful, especially during trick-or-treat hours and especially in residential neighborhoods.  Still, if parents can entice kids to wear brighter clothing, at least the risk of pedestrian Halloween accidents will be reduced.

Parents should also make sure that the costumes kids wear don't obstruct their vision and make it harder for children to see. Many young kids want to wear masks for Halloween. Dressing as an animal, for example is the third most popular option and kids could end up with a mask on to complete this outfit. If these masks make it harder for children to identify oncoming cars, the pedestrian accident risks could be higher.

Finally, parents need to make sure the costumes their kids wear don't create a tripping hazard or impede their movement. If kids fall on the roads due to a costume which trips them, they could be more susceptible to getting hit by a car and hurt. If kids cannot get across the road as quickly or cannot get out of the way as quickly if a car is coming in their direction, this also exacerbates the risk of Halloween pedestrian accidents.

By making sure a child's costume is safe to move around in and as easy to see as possible, parents can make it easier for drivers to avoid pedestrian accidents on Halloween. The responsibility still lies with drivers to avoid doing things which could hurt kids, like driving distracted or speeding and increasing the chances of a serious or fatal collision.

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